Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the centenary commemoration of the Sopron Plebiscite
14 December 2021, Sopron

Good evening.

Thank you very much for the opportunity of our being together this evening.

Your Excellency, Honourable Mayor, Members of Parliament, Citizens of Sopron,

Once I heard a sentence here in Sopron, which ran thus: “Perhaps the sky is full of clouds, but Lake Fertő [Neusiedl] will drive them off.” What could this mean? We can interpret it as meaning that even though the storm is threatening, it will rage most powerfully over the lake – while the sky will clear first over the houses of the people of Sopron.

People of Sopron,

One hundred years ago, when Trianon imposed calamitous losses on the country, a political storm was raging in Hungary. In living memory the Hungarians had not seen the likes of such a storm, which was so great that no force was capable of subduing it. But then the storm was “driven off” first by Sopron and the surrounding villages: Ágfalva, Balf, Fertőboz, Fertőrákos, Harka, Kópháza, Nagycenk and Sopronbánfalva. In fact they did more than this: thanks to the decision of the people living here, all Hungarians saw the first traces of clear blue sky amidst the storm clouds of history. Over Sopron and its surroundings, in 1921 the sun shone again for the first time. It was here that the heart of a dying Hungary beat again for the first time. That heart has been beating ever since. And today it beats faster and stronger than at any time in the past one hundred years. But its first renewed beat was heard here in Sopron. This is why we are here today – to express our gratitude and thanks. And also to celebrate a little: to celebrate the proud heart that has beaten unfailingly for a thousand years; to celebrate Hungary.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We know the feeling: when a storm is approaching, one is gripped by a kind of feeling of alarm. At such times small children take fright, and farm animals find shelter and cower. One wonders if one has locked every door and shut every window. Will the wind blow off roof tiles, break windows, scatter animals, or ruin crops? Will there be permanent damage? Have we neglected to do something that would have enabled us to avoid damage? And, in general, can life go on as it did before the storm? Dear People of Sopron, the situation is the same when the storm of history rages. One hundred years ago we had good cause for alarm: a lost war, social and economic collapse, the Spanish flu pandemic. And if all that was not enough, the Great Powers and our neighbours were baring their teeth at our borders. They took two thirds of our country from us, with other countries annexing the homeland of one third of all Hungarians. Even though we did not want the war and did not initiate it, we were forced to pay more for it than anyone else. Indeed, they even sought to punish us for being Hungarians, and for wanting to remain Hungarians – as if the Hungarians were responsible for all the world’s ills. They wanted to force millions of Hungarians to forget their past of 1,100 years, to forget their country, their language, their culture, to forget their families, and to forget the millions of living threads that bind us together as a nation. They wanted us to surrender our identity and become someone else – or, if not, to simply become no one and nothing.

People of Sopron,

One hundred years ago our country was condemned to death. Their plan was to bleed us to death. Hungary was knocked off its feet, dismembered, its vital organs cut out, and then abandoned to its fate. One hundred years ago, with the referendum back then, Sopron and its surroundings sent a message to the world: “You will wait in vain for our death. We do not want to attend our own funeral, and we shall not.” A comatose Hungary survived the murderous blow, its heart beat and it showed signs of recovery. And recover it did! The strength needed to survive did not derive from money, power or external support, and it was not the strength of arms: it was the strength derived from the unity of patriots, given to their homeland by the citizens of the Most Loyal City.

Citizens of Sopron,

After one hundred years we still come here to Sopron to draw strength. Today the situation is still difficult, and we need the affirming example of the people of Sopron. In our neighbourhood war is threatening again, millions of people are migrating from one continent to another, pandemics are claiming victims as they sweep the entire world, many countries are stricken by energy crises, and entire economies are being ruined overnight. Furthermore, the Goliaths are once more abusing their power, once more trying to tell us who we should be, with whom we should live and how. They want us to forget our one thousand years of history, to forget our culture, to cut ourselves off from our Christian roots. They want us to surrender our identity, to become someone else and to be like everyone else – in other words, to be no one and nothing. This used to be called the Clemenceau Plan, but now it is called the Soros Plan. What was once called the Île-de-France Peace is now called the United States of Europe. What were once the Entente Powers are now the open society, multiculturalism and gender ideology. Then it was the occupation of physical territory, but now it is the occupation of spiritual and intellectual territory.

Citizens of Sopron,

We are preparing for another referendum. Once again we want to reject foreign plans threatening Hungary’s future. We want to protect our children from the propaganda of LGBTQ and its associates, just as we have protected Hungarian families from migrants. We have the right to do so. The Constitutional Court of Hungary has recently ruled that we have the right to reject Brussels’ human experimentation, we have the right to defend Hungary, and we have the right to secure the future of Hungary. If we are strong and united, now it will not only be Sopron and its surroundings that vote together, but the whole of Hungary. And, if we are lucky, perhaps Europe’s heart will also beat: all over Europe people will see that there are some who dare to reject the “brave new world” of Brussels and what has been cooked up for them there. They will see that it is worth fighting and never giving up; because, just as Sopron returned to its homeland, so Europe can return to Christian civilisation.

Fellow Commemorators, Dear People of Sopron,

There is one more thing we must talk about – and we must talk about it frankly. Even one hundred years ago there were people who campaigned against Hungary and for Austria. They wrote on their posters, and I quote: “Do not trust the siren song of the Hungarians, vote for the German side!” It is sad, but we have to acknowledge that in Hungary today there are people who are campaigning in the same way. According to them, the Treaty of Trianon was just. Now too, they say that we would be better off if we became something else, as long as we do not remain Hungarian. They do not like their own kind. For them, someone is European if he or she gives up his or her faith, nation, language and values. But we have not yielded, and we shall not.

Dear Friends,

Over the past decade Hungarians have united the nation, we have given work to everyone who wants to work, we have strengthened families, we have reduced the cost of household utilities, we have been able to provide for those on the lowest incomes, and we have defended the country from illegal immigrants. And the future prospects are attractive. Next year young people will pay no income tax, families will get back the tax that they paid in this year, the minimum wage will continue to rise, and senior citizens will get back the thirteenth month’s pension that had been taken from them. Members of the armed forces are being given their due recognition and we are building a modern defence force. We have companies geared toward exports, and we are making the whole of the Carpathian Basin accessible by road and rail. And recently a motorway has finally reached Sopron. Why would we turn back? We propose that Hungary should go forwards, not backwards.

Dear People of Sopron, Our Hosts,

There is an old saying that city air makes one free. We Hungarians – especially those from the countryside – know that country air makes one patriotic. Freedom and patriotism. Freedom and patriotism: these are the two great traditions of Hungarian politics, the two great pillars of Hungary’s one thousand years. And these two pillars are linked by the beams of loyalty. I ask the city of Sopron to remain the city of loyalty over the next one hundred years: a city that links the homeland with freedom, and thus makes Hungary a solid edifice in which we Hungarians can feel at home.

Hungary before all else, God above us all!

Go, Hungary, go Hungarians!